I love the drama that comes with watching the sports world. The world cup this summer has been one of the most globally unifying events I can remember. Everyone was watching every match, and we here in the US don’t even know the first thing about Soccer (football, if you live anywhere else in the world).
Or take the olympics. Remember the 17.3 seconds when the Twitter world was up in arms because we would know the results of the events in London hours before they aired prime-time in the US? Remember how it then went on to be the most-watched sporting event in history because no one cares about the sports involved?
No one cares because the olympics are about drama. And drama is what keeps us coming back to sports over and over again.
So this week, it should be no surprise that LeBron James is returning to his old (hometown) team, the Cleveland Cavaliers. Not only that, in the process of moving from one massive mansion (in South Beach, where he infamously “took his talents”), to another massive mansion in Northeast Ohio, movers came across the following love note among LeBron’s possessions. I cannot disclose the source that leaked this note exclusively to ThatPreacherGuy.com, but here is the note in it’s entirety, and oh, is it juicy!
Hey baby, I know we’ve had a lot of great times. But you never really gave me what I’m looking for. I want to go farther, and I just don’t think you’re willing to go there. I need my space. I should mention that there’s someone else—her name is Miami—and frankly, she’s willing to give me everything I want. I just need some space from you right now and Miami seems like more fun. I still love you baby, and I hope you understand. I’ll be back soon when the novelty has faded. I’ve always loved you, this is just something I need to do right now. For me. I’ll see you again soon (‘cuz frankly, who else would want you?).
Ok, so the above note wasn’t really found. But that’s the way everyone feels, right? Everyone sees through his attempts to be diplomatic, just like everyone saw through “the decision” four years ago. But it seems the sports world just loves to hate LeBron James. And why? He just wants to win, right? He just wants his time to shine, right? And he wants to be loved in his hometown, right? What is wrong with that?
No one is mad because he wanted to win.
No one is mad because he wanted other stars around him.
People are mad because he refused to be loyal to the team that gave him his start.
See, even in the sports world, loyalty matters. LeBron apologists might argue that you’re taking this too seriously, that this is only sports, but the vast majority opinion is that there is a lack of loyalty.
And that makes people mad.
What’s with that? What is it in society that says even in something mundane as a game that entails a ball, a wood floor and a hoop, people should be loyal to those who have been loyal to them.
It seems loyalty (or faithfulness, or dependability) have always been favorable facets of human culture. They have always been exalted as virtues. But in a world that tries so desperately to convince itself there must not be a God, the question screaming to be answered is, if there is no God, by what standard is loyalty a virtue? By what absolute, objective standard does anyone have the right to be offended when cheated by someone’s slimy lack of loyalty? In a world without moral absolutes, if such slimy choices benefit the person making them, they must be true, right and good. In a world of relative morality, “good” is in the eye of the beholder.
So in what sense can anyone be upset at LeBron’s actions four years, ago, or his unapologetic return this summer?
It seems there is something bigger at play. It seems that our world does indeed have virtues and moral absolutes, and that one of those is loyalty. The Bible teaches of a God who is unswervingly loyal, and faithful, to his covenant people. In Deuteronomy 7:9, Scripture says, “Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who maintains covenant loyalty with those who love Him and keep His commandments, to a thousand generations.” The first and greatest commandment, according to Jesus was “love the Lord your God with ALL your heart, soul, mind, and strength.”
We were created in the image of a loyal God who values undying devotion, commitment, loyalty and faithfulness. It is because loyalty is written into our identity—having been created in God’s image—that the whole world gets incensed at marital unfaithfulness, or at corporate execs who leverage offers against each other to move up the ladder. It is why treason seems to be a crime in every civilization, in every period of history. And it is why people are upset with LeBron James dumping Cleveland to go get his championships, even though he really always “loved” Cleveland.
Or maybe, it just “feels” wrong, but there’s nothing wrong with it at all.
Who can judge?